Claygate circular Sat November 12

18 Poly Ramblers met at Claygate station. We were fortunate to have a warm sunny day for our autumnal walk. We began through the woods of Claygate along a rather narrow bridleway, luckily not too many horses to avoid, before crossing the A3 to climb Winey Hill to reach a large memorial cairn on top with wonderful views all around. We continued around the perimeter of Chessington World of adventures. Chessington began as a zoo in 1931 it is still a major part of the resort with Gorillas, Sumatran Tigers and a sea life centre and a number of other attractions all of which we avoided. We went over the Leatherhead Road to make our way along a narrow path through dense woodland before crossing another busy road. Then it was farmland reaching a white coal post at the boundary of Ashtead Common in Surrey. We walked between some large Oak trees before wending our way along a much narrower path until we came to a very wide horse path. It was at this point that I received a phone call informing me that I had lost five members of the group. Luckily, they were all good map readers and they caught up with us just before our lunch stop at the Star pub a well-known pub chain with excellent food and who were very welcoming. After our lunch stop, we went through Princes Coverts named after Prince Leopold of Belgium. We passed Upper Gravel Pond and Jessops Well, an 18th century brick spa house. We continued through Princes Coverts before crossing the A3 road, and finally back to Claygate.  We stopped for a drink at Platform 3 a small micro-brewery at the station before catching the train back to Waterloo.